(Ed. Note: This post was written by Cathy Daane of the Madison Metropolitan School District and discusses how they trained their staff and provide them with easy access to answers about their OverDrive service.)


When the Madison Metropolitan School District decided to start an OverDrive collection for all of their patrons, one of the concerns was how to train the 46 school librarians so that they could be the local experts on this resource. In addition to some large group training sessions and using targeted e-mails to highlight the many resources that OverDrive provides online, a LibGuide page was created as a central spot that librarians could go to when they needed an answer to an OverDrive question “right now.” Since the district’s librarians already used a privately shared LibGuide to warehouse other important district library information, a new page was simply created in the “Librarian e-guide” to provide specific OverDrive information.

The initial LibGuide focused on general information about OverDrive such as what it was, how it might be utilized by district students and staff, and how district patrons would access it. It also included links to many of the excellent resources that OverDrive provided, such as device specific directions. In addition, screencasts and documents that were specific to MMSD (such as the district’s ordering process for OverDrive shopping carts) were posted here.

A year later new boxes have appeared as needed, such as “Simple Login” information when that became an option. Recently one librarian wanted to know how to remove a title from a patron’s name before the checkout period has expired. With help from an OverDrive Account Specialist, the needed directions were found and shared not only with that librarian, but also posted on the OverDrive libguide so that others could learn that process as well. Links that allow librarians to go to a spreadsheet to request access level changes for a specific title or request purchases of new titles have also been added. This streamlines the district requests so that one person can check the lists periodically and handle them in a very efficient manner.

The LibGuide is a work in progress, but is really has helped to cut down on the questions that may be directed to central library media services staff members. It helps the school librarians learn things on their own when they need to find an answer for either themselves or a patron.


Madison Metropolitan School District is located in Madison Wisconsin and has been using OverDrive with their students and staff since January, 2014.